The Right and Wrong Ways to Repave Your Parking Lot
Keeping the parking lot of your business in good working order will save money, improve business, and prevent costly rebuilding in the long run. Maintaining the parking lot correctly will help prevent deeper damage, so that deeper, more costly repairs aren’t necessary. For many visitors, the parking lot is the first experience had with a commercial space. A dilapidated, cracked lot can damage the customer’s car, and sets a bad tone for doing business. Finally, a lot that is taken care of well will be less likely to need a total reconstruction in the future.
We’ve got some guidelines for making sure your repairs/repaving are done the right way.
Quality VS Speed
The Wrong Way: Speed Over Quality
Although it’s important to get your parking lot paved quickly when there is damage, quality comes first. You’ve probably seen asphalt haphazardly poured into a crack in a road or lot before. The asphalt bulges above the crack, it is loose almost immediately, and it is a great place to damage tires.
The repair may have been fast, but it won’t last, and will just lead to bigger repairs and higher costs later on.
The Right Way: A Balance of Quality and Speed
Fixing your asphalt lot is important to do quickly for several reasons:
- Small problems can get worse. A small crack can easily get water inside. When that water expands and contracts with heat and cold, the crack can spread. The sooner you fix the problem the better.
- But make sure your repairs are done with quality in mind. The holes and cracks need to be filled properly. This means they need to be level with the rest of the pavement so as not to damage vehicles. It also means that they need to be properly filled, possibly with support bars inside, or with some excavation of the surrounding pavement to get a better pour.
Fixing your problems quickly and effectively is key. That way you avoid the higher costs of major repairs.
The Wrong Way: All New Materials
Believe it or not, it’s pretty much never necessary to use new asphalt. The reasons for it are twofold:
1). It’s not environmentally friendly. New asphalt has to be made from strip-mined rock to get the aggregate material. The second ingredient is refined oil, which makes up the binder that glues the aggregate together. This binder must be pumped and go through the whole oil refining supply chain.
2). It’s more expensive. New asphalt materials cost more. Besides the supply chain mentioned above, they also have to be transported to the construction site.
The Right Way: Recycled Asphalt
Asphalt is the most recycled material in the United States. Not only can recycled asphalt be easily acquired, you may even be able to supply your own. If your blacktop is damaged and in need of repairs, as paving contractor can excavate it, pulverize it, and then lay it again to repave your lot.
Besides being cheaper because it skips the processing steps that new asphalt goes through, recycling asphalt requires less fossil fuels and produces less pollution.
There’s no reason not to use at least a mix of new and recycled asphalt.
The Wrong Way: Once Yearly or Strictly Scheduled Maintenance
Regular maintenance is key to your lot being healthy. The catch basins and manholes have to be clean and free of obstructions. Obstructed canals won’t drain properly. Sitting water slowly gets absorbed into the pavement, where it damages it, causing cracks and eventually larger holes. Maintenance once or twice a year is not usually enough to clear catch basin obstructions and ensure proper water drainage.
The Right Way: Frequent Maintenance, as Well as Inspection and Maintenance After Various Events
Regular maintenance works when it is performed frequently. Depending on the weather in your location, you want the catch basins checked out at once a month or even more. That way, they can be cleared regularly and your lot will have good drainage.
Also, be sure to inspect and maintain the lot after events like storms, floods, and earthquakes. Severe weather can damage the lot itself as well as blow branches and other debris into catch basins. If you live in a geologically unstable area, with earthquakes, tremors, and or sinkholes, regular checking can ensure your basins are clear, and that there isn’t foundational damage.
Refreshing your lines and paint goes a long way. Fresh, bright paint on a lot gives the impression of professionalism for the business. It also makes the lot safer to drive on. Remember that the parking lot is the first part of your business that the client sees, so you want them to be safe and have a good impression.
Know When a Deeper Fix is Necessary
The Wrong Way: Resurfacing Forever
In order to cut costs, a lot of companies will simply resurface their lots until they are beyond repair. Resurfacing makes them look nicer, and is certainly cheaper than a repave, but they are rarely a long term solution for serious damage. Small cracks and holes can be fixed by resurfacing.
The Right Way: Resurface Small Faults, Repave Severe Degradation
When your lot has massive holes, deep cracks, and potholes that can damage a car, it’s probably time to repave. A well-paved lot lasts about 20 years with maintenance every 3-5 years. If it’s been over 20 years, your parking lot is without a doubt ready to be repaved.
Looking to Get Your Parking Lot Worked On?
If you think your business’s parking lot needs resurfacing or repaving, let us know. Reliable Paving has been in the business for over 35 years. We are a professional, organized, and experienced company that can do large-scale projects within strict time limits. Reliable is happy to help with your asphalt paving questions and needs. Most importantly, when you need someone to repave or maintain your parking lot, choose a contractor that’s reliable.